New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission
Law enforcement patch
|Jurisdiction||New York City|
|Headquarters||33 Beaver Street,
New York, NY
The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC or NYC TLC) is an agency of the government of New York City that regulates the medallion taxis and for-hire vehicle industries, including app-based companies. This includes medallion (yellow) taxicabs, green or Boro taxicabs, black cars (including both traditional and app-based services), community-based livery cars, commuter vans, paratransit vehicles (ambulettes), and some luxury limousines.
The TLC was created in 1971 under Mayor John Lindsay to regulate the taxi industry and for-hire vehicles. Before the creation of the agency, the NYPD's "Hack Bureau" regulated the taxicab industry, starting in 1925. The TLC establishes the larger public transportation policy that governs for-hire transportation services in New York City. The agency's powers include issuing and regulating licenses, setting and enforcing rates of fare, limiting taxi lease rates, and overseeing the sale of medallions.
The chair of the TLC, Meera Joshi, presides over the agency's board of nine commissioners during regularly scheduled public Commission meetings. Eight of the commissioners are unsalaried and appointed by the Mayor, with the advice and consent of the City Council. Five of the commissioners – one seat for each borough—are recommended for appointment by a majority vote of the councilmembers within each borough. Commissioners serve a seven-year term. The agency's regulations are compiled in title 35 of the New York City Rules.
The TLC chair, who is salaried, also heads the agency, which has a staff of about 600 employees assigned to various divisions and bureaus (i.e. Uniformed Services, Licensing, Legal, Policy, Public Affairs, Safety & Emissions, among others). The TLC has a Uniformed Services Bureau, with more than 200 inspectors. The bureau includes the Vision Zero squad, which focuses on safety-related enforcement like moving violations, which include failing to yield to pedestrians and cell phone usage while driving. Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero Action Plan is the City's initiative to end traffic fatalities, and the TLC is one of the agencies involved, along with the NYC Department of Transportation and the New York Police Department.
The TLC licenses about 146,000 unique drivers, with some drivers working in multiple industry sectors. TLC-licensed drivers self-report 167 different countries as their place of birth. The greatest number of Medallion Taxi drivers, about 24%, identifies their place of birth as Bangladesh. Drivers providing app-based services identify most commonly as being born in Pakistan, the Dominican Republic, the U.S., Bangladesh, and India. About half of traditional for-hire vehicle drivers hail from the Dominican Republic.
The average hourly gross income for a medallion driver in 2015 was $30.41, not including tips, according to the 2016 TLC Factbook. Green Taxi drivers made $20.63, also excluding tips. Evening hours are typically more lucrative.
There were about 90,000 vehicles licensed by the TLC in 2015, according to the Factbook . These include:
- 13,587 Medallion Taxicabs
- 7,676 Green Taxis
- 38,791 black cars
- 21,932 livery cars
- 288 commuter vans
- 2,206 paratransit vehicles
Medallion Taxis make between 300,000 and 400,000 trips a day, while Green Taxis, which hit the road in New York City in 2013, do almost 50,000 daily on average. While the TLC does not regulate specific shifts, the morning shift for a medallion taxi typically begins at 6:30 a.m., and the evening shift often starts at 5:15 p.m. Trips peak Friday evenings for medallion cabs, and Saturday night for Green Taxis.
The city's goal is to have the Medallion Taxicab fleet reach 50% wheelchair-accessibility by 2020. The number of wheelchair-accessible taxis in New York City has tripled from 238 in 2013 to 850 taxicabs on the road in 2016. Almost 300 new wheelchair-accessible medallion taxicabs went into service in the first six months of 2016, according to TLC data.
Since September 2015, taxicab medallion owners may purchase the Taxi of Tomorrow (a Nissan NV200 Taxi), a TLC-approved wheelchair-accessible vehicle, or a hybrid vehicle.
The first Taxi of Tomorrow began providing service in October 2013. Its features include a large cabin, a passenger charging stations and reading lights, independent passenger climate control, yellow seatbelt straps, grab handles to assist stepping in and out, a clear panoramic roof, and sliding doors to prevent injuries from dooring. The NV200 taxicab is the first taxi vehicle to be equipped with Hearing Loop technology.
The TLC is testing new vehicle safety technologies in licensed vehicles as part of a safety pilot, which began in 2015, according to the agency's website. Technologies include electronic data recorders, speed governors, and driver-alert systems. The pilot looks at how safety technologies affect driving behaviors, collision rates, the experience of drivers and passengers, and the expenses of drivers.
Some interesting facts about taxis and for-hire vehicles in New York City:
- The word taxicab is a combination of the words “taximetre,” and “Cabriolet,” an early horse-drawn carriage. It was coined by Harry N. Allen, who created the first fleet of vehicles to charge passengers based on metered distance. He originally imported 65 gasoline-powered French Darracq automobiles, and the new service began to quickly replace horse-drawn hansom cabs.
- The word “hack” comes originally from the word hackney, which was taken from the French word haquenee—a slow, very tame horse or mare.
- It is believed that one of Harry N. Allen’s Taxicabs made one of the first street hails, a pickup at the opening of the Plaza Hotel in 1907. But he left the Taxi business in 1908 during a seven-week drivers’ strike.
- Some of the original New York City Taxicabs were powered by electricity. The Electrobat, whose batteries weighed over 800 pounds, was a popular car until its garage burned down in a blazing inferno.
- A grill was once required in the trunks of Taxicabs to prevent them from carrying dead bodies, according to "Taxi! A Social History of the New York City Cabdriver."
- The TLC has a Driver Safety Honor Roll, which recognizes the safest Taxi and For-Hire Vehicle drivers in New York City. Drivers on the Honor Roll have had no crashes involving fatalities or injuries, no traffic violations, and no violations of TLC safety-related rules for five years or more.
- The TLC has acted as a technical consultant for major TV shows and films that involved taxicab use, such as “Friends,” “Conspiracy Theory,” and the “Bone Collector.”
- Andy Warhol took about six cabs a day for gallery openings and traveling to his Factory, his diaries show. He regularly spent twenty dollars or more on cabs a day in the 1980s, says "Taxi! A Social History of the New York City Cabdriver."
- One notable TLC-licensed driver, Robert de Niro, worked twelve hour days for a month driving cabs as preparation for the 1976 film “Taxi Driver.”
- In April 2015, the TLC posted a notice in the City Record proposing the "Licensing of For-Hire Vehicle Dispatch Applications", requiring mobile app operators to apply for approval of certain changes to any app used to arrange vehicle rides for hire, widely considered to be targeted at ridesharing company Uber, with a public hearing to be held on May 28.
overtime reports say that the TLC Wrongly Accused Hundreds of Being Illegal Cabbies.
- New York City Charter § 2300; "There shall be a New York city taxi and limousine commission[...]"
- 2016 TLC Fact Book http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/downloads/pdf/2016_tlc_factbook.pdf
- "About TLC". New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- Taxi! A Social History of the New York City Cab Driver by Graham Russell Gao Hodges
- Flegenheimer, Matt (13 May 2015). "Uber and Internet Giants Assail New York City's Plan to Bolster Rules for Car-Hire Apps". The New York Times.
- City Rec, Apr. 24, 2015 at 1627
-  Google results.
- "Taxicab Factbook 2014" (PDF). nyc.gov. Retrieved 2015-11-14.